This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 12/3/2018
Ghana’s health care market is one of the most attractive markets in Sub-Sahara Africa for U.S. products and investment. Improvement and expansion of health care is one of the central pillars of the government of Ghana’s human development agenda and is an underlying factor in the government’s overall strategy for accelerated growth in the country. Ghana’s demographics remain reflective of its lower-middle income status: the average life expectancy is 60.9 years and infant mortality remains far above the world average (43 vs. 32 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015). Ghana has a full range of diseases endemic to Sub-Sahara Africa: cholera, typhoid, pulmonary tuberculosis, chicken pox, yellow fever, measles, infectious hepatitis, malaria, and schistosomiasis are all endemic in Ghana. Despite these challenges, the country does have a strong and growing middle class and a large number of expatriate Ghanaians are choosing to return to participate in one of Africa’s fastest growing economies.

Ghana’s colonial history still impacts the presence of competitors in the market—European, and particularly British, brands have a distinct advantage with Ghanaian consumers. Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is closely modelled after the European Medicines Agency (EMA), providing an additional advantage to those companies. In the last 20 years there has been a growing presence in Ghana by Indian and Chinese companies selling into the health care sector. Chinese companies in particular are aggressively pursuing opportunities in West Africa and seeking partners to manufacture or assemble products in Ghana.

As both Indian and Chinese companies have become more active in Ghana’s market there has been a corresponding rise in the amount of counterfeit pharmaceutical products. The wide availability of counterfeit (and ineffective) malaria medications has caused particular concern. In response, the United States Pharmacopeia Commission (USP) established a presence in Ghana to provide assistance in the identification of counterfeit and substandard medicines. USP now has an active clinical lab in Accra working to build local capacity within Ghana’s healthcare industry.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects
Ghana has very limited local production of pharmaceuticals and even less manufacturing of equipment and devices; the country relies on imports for approximately 85 percent of its total health care consumption. In 2005 Ghana moved from a ‘pay as you go’ system, where individual health expenditures were paid in cash prior to treatment, covered entirely by patients. The National Health Insurance Scheme now provides wide coverage for a limited scope of health issues, primarily insuring for treatment against the most prevalent diseases (malaria and others). Ghana has sought to introduce more private sector participation into the health care sector and the most dynamic growth and most exciting opportunities will be found in privately invested hospitals and clinics and in the non-state controlled portion of the pharmaceutical sector.
With Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), one of the most functional such systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana’s appetite for medical services will continue to grow. As referenced earlier, Ghanaian consumers are extremely price sensitive, including their expenditures on health care products and services. The best opportunities will be found in
Web Resources
Ghana Ministry of Health  
Ghana Health Services  
National Health Insurance Scheme  
Food & Drugs Authority
Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement & Training (CePAT) | A USP Global Health Impact Program

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Ghana Healthcare Services Biopharmaceuticals Trade Development and Promotion